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  • By Dana Casadei

Tamara Kolton

Rabbi Tamara Kolton can pinpoint the moment, down to the minute, when she felt it, this energy she couldn't put a name on until later. It was July 21, 2012 at 10:30 p.m. when Kolton – then the rabbi at Birmingham Temple – was in the midst of a terrible board meeting. She felt what she would later call Eve energy. Yes, the Eve with the garden and apple. "I felt this push on my back and this energy I knew later to name, 'Eve energy' – which is get out of here, do it, dare to follow your own truth, dare not to listen to them," said Kolton. After said board meeting, Kolton went and wrote her resignation. "What I believe is the drama of that board meeting dislodged me so that I could go in search of a God that I could believe in," she said. That precise moment led Kolton on a journey of her finding God in the feminine, and feeling the beautiful, brave, bad ass energy of the feminine divine. Kolton refers to Eve as a spiritual bad ass and Mother of Spiritual Bravery in her book, Oranges for Eve, which follows Kolton's journey from that meeting forward. What makes for a spiritual bad ass? "Being a spiritual bad ass is owning that you have the right to a great life the way you see it in this emerging moment, even though you’re told that you don’t," she said. Right now, in the midst of the #MeToo movement and current political environment, Kolton feels her book is very relevant. "We all have times in our lives when all the people around us are screaming their bad advice at us, especially as women, and you can feel the energy of that feminine...her disobedient current rising in 2020," said Kolton, who lives in Birmingham. But back to the connection with the book title's focus. For Kolton – who knew at her bat mitzvah she wanted to become a rabbi – the myth of Eve had stuck with her for decades. She had been writing and talking about it for years. Kolton said she connected the story to how women are often silenced or shamed for how they feel, especially about their bodies. She admitted to not feeling comfortable in her own body numerous times throughout her life, and noted Eve did also in one specific moment in the garden. "I think as women, we feel like Eve many times in our lives, sometimes many times a day," Kolton said. Oranges for Eve is a spiritual journey Kolton wants readers to travel with her, with exercises in the book. Kolton hopes every woman who reads it can embody their life in a more beautiful way, feel more at home in their body, and know they are supposed to follow their truth and conduct that in to the future. "I think that’s the number one thing, you will never regret following your truth – that’s the message for Oranges for Eve," she sad. Since publishing, Kolton has gotten lots of love and encouragement, some from an unexpected place, the Birmingham Temple, which she hadn't been back to since her 2012 resignation. They recently invited her to speak and sell her book there for an engagement this spring. "It’s so healing and it’s a tremendous gift from the Birmingham Temple to be invited back in with my book," she said. "It's been really beautiful." Photo: Laurie Tennent

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